Monday, July 21, 2014

Russia Rejoins Cuba's Espionage Apparatchik in the Americas

Monday, July 21, 2014

Russia Rejoins Cuba's Espionage Apparatchik in the Americas
By Jerry Brewer

In order to effectively monitor aggression, hostile intelligence acts,
interference, and other forms of insurgency within their homelands,
democracies throughout the Americas must immediately address their
governments' counterintelligence missions against those rogue and
dictatorial style regimes that pose obvious threats.

Russia's recent decision to reopen its electronic spying center in Cuba
is once again an obvious act that aggressively demonstrates support for
the Cuban Castro regime, and a shared dispute versus the United States.

The Lourdes base closed 13 years ago, having been built in 1962. The
closing was reportedly due to the economic crisis in Russia, along with
repeated requests from the United States.

Lourdes served as a signals' intelligence (SIGINT) facility, among other
applications, located just 100 miles from the United States at Key West,
Florida. During what has been described as the Cold War, the Lourdes
facility was believed to be staffed "by over 1,500 KGB, GRU, Cuban DGI,
and Eastern Bloc technicians, engineers and intelligence operatives."

In 2000, it was reported that China signed an agreement with the Cuban
government to share use of the facility for its own intelligence agency.

Despite pro-Cuba chants for economic aid and the lifting of the 50 year
old Cuban Embargo, placed via President John F. Kennedy's Proclamation
3447, there appears to be no shortage of funding by Cuba for that
nation's energetic spy apparatchik.

The original U.S. manifesto regarding Cuba, in 1962, expressed the
necessity for the embargo until such time that Cuba would demonstrate
respect for human rights and liberty. And today, there certainly cannot
be much of an argument that the continuing Castro regime has ever
complied with any aspect of that mandate. In fact, Castro's revolution
has arrogantly continued to force horrific sacrifices on Cubans in their
homeland, as well as suffering by those that fled the murderous regime
over the decades and left families behind.

Neither of the Castro brothers has ever, even remotely, disguised their
venomous hatred for the U.S., democracy, or the U.S. way of life – even
prior to the embargo. Their anti-U.S. rhetoric continues, along with
Russia and Venezuela, and they continue to extol radical leftist and
communist governments throughout the world.

The Russian parliament recently pardoned 90% of Cuba's US$38.5 billion
debt dating back to the now defunct Soviet Union.

Last week a senior Russian official, explaining the revived interest of
Moscow to monitor communications from Washington, said, "Our relations
(with the U.S.) deteriorated considerably well before the crisis in the
Ukraine. In reality, they never really improved, except for some
specific periods which have been the exception to the rule."

The U.S. and others, especially in Latin America, must not underestimate
Cuba's vast intelligence and espionage services. Their security and
intelligence networks are on a scale perceived to be "many times larger
than that of the United States." And even with Cuba's poverty, depressed
economic situation and weak prognosis for future windfalls, their
clandestine operational acts continue and extend throughout the Americas
and the world.

The Cuban espionage budget is not generally known outside of most major
competent intelligence services globally. However, much of their modus
operandi is – essentially that of the DI (Dirección de Inteligencia),
which never had to be reinvented. That is other than changing the
moniker, from the former DGI (Dirección General de Inteligencia), with
its original training by the former Soviet KGB.

Cuba maintains one of its largest intelligence networks in Venezuela,
and in Mexico, as does Russia. The late President Hugo Chavez of
Venezuela preferred direct access to Cuba's security service, as
indicated by cables unscrupulously released and sent from the U.S.
Embassy in Caracas to the State Department. This cozy relationship,
between Cuba and Venezuela, reeked of massive funding hidden by obscure
secret decrees and continues to this very day.

Cuba's intelligence network has long been focused on the U.S. as its
primary adversary. As the U.S. is perceived to be the number one threat
to the Castro and leftist regimes in Latin America, intelligence
acquisition is a high priority to the dictatorial-like leftist regimes
throughout the hemisphere.

In addition, the U.S. DEA has shown direct and growing criminal drug
ties between Colombia's FARC guerrillas and Hezbollah. Testimony in
February of this year revealed that "FARC is a central part of the
revolutionary project of bringing together armed groups and terrorist
organizations under the umbrella of the (Venezuelan) Bolivarian
Revolution." Plus there are known and reported links between the late
Hugo Chavez, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega, Ecuador's President
Rafael Correa, and current President Salvador Sanchez Ceren of El
Salvador, all of whom are apparently "giving significant logistical,
financial, and political support to the FARC, allowing FARC to expand
its international networks and increase its resources."

El Salvador's Sanchez Ceren may have telegraphed his mindset last May,
just prior to being sworn in as president on June 1, when he met with
Cuban President Raul Castro and two of Cuba's spies who were previously
convicted in the United States on conspiracy and espionage charges.

The real objective of Cuban espionage in the United States is to
penetrate and influence the various spheres of government, the military,
academia, the media and social organizations. The cases of Ana Belen
Montes, the Cuban spy at the Pentagon, and the couple, Kendall and
Gwendolyn Myers, who for 30 years gave State Department secrets to
Havana, prove the determination of the regime to damage U.S. national
security. And it appears that Russia is anxious to help.

Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a
global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His
website is located at

Source: Russia Rejoins Cuba's Espionage Apparatchik in the Americas -

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